Well Water

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SWBAT determine and analyze the effects drilling for water can have on the environment.

Big Idea

This experiment has students working together to pump as much out of the ground as possible. Students will then have to think about how does the water get replaced.

How We Use Water

5 minutes

We have been studying about water and the importance of it. To begin this lesson we discuss the ways in which we use water for our every day use. This is a good discussion starter and I then ask the class to discuss how we get the water we use. I ask them to think beyond turning on the water faucet. We discuss underground water and I ask them to explain to their elbow partner how we get the water from underground. This turns into some great talk about pumps and how we pump the water out that we use. 

Individual Wells

10 minutes

I place students into pairs and give them a small tub and shampoo bottle pump. I have filled the tub with plastic pieces to simulate the ground and I ask student to dump a large cup of water into their tub. Using their science journal to map their progress, I ask them to draw the diagram of what they are starting with. To label the diagram, I ask them to label what the pieces each represent. 

Next, students will determine how to place their pump in order to fill the cup. Students will take turns pumping out the water to try to fill the up half way. They need to take notes of what is happening as they do this. I give them hints to help in their note taking process. I tell them to watch for what happens in the tub, pump, and in the cup. Students can run through the experiment twice to get their observations written. 

"Well" What Happened?

10 minutes

When students finish they are now ready to discuss what happened and what they observed. I have them first go back to their desks and talk with their elbow partners. Each students elbow partner is not the partner that they worked with during the activity. This way the conversation that they have is about what they did in their groups. It also help students share what they learned and hopefully they can add to each others learning through this discussion. After giving some time to the discussion, I wrap up by asking them to share what they discussed.

Creative Solutions

10 minutes

Toward the end of the discussion, I ask the students to tell me about how the pumping effected the water in the tub. The class can explain that the water level went down and I ask them to explain to me how the water might be replaced. I remind students to remember back to the lessons on the watershed. We discuss how precipitation levels affect the areas around us, and ask them to connect that to our pumping water activity. To complete the lesson, I ask students to write some ways that they can make a difference when it comes to using water. I ask them to include why we must be aware of how water is being used and how they can make a difference.